Horsecar lines at the intersection of Chestnut Street and 23rd Street, Philadelphia, PA, by Benjamin Ridgway Evans, 1884.
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This is a view of Chestnut Street from a high vantage point showing the double horsecar tracks with horsecars on them. The skating rink is a large red brick building, surrounded by a lumber yard. Next to that is the "L. Power Wood Working" business. Left, across the street on the corner is an unidentified tavern. The #20 horsecar has Fairmount Park as its destination. There are several pedestrians in this scene.

Credit: Courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia

The introduction of the horsecars on iron rails before the Civil War and then motorized streetcars in the late 1800s enabled explosive physical growth of Philadelphia and a restructuring of its social geography. In the late 1800s street traction lines fueled the growth of sprawling streetcar suburbs on the city’s periphery; residential districts at a distance from the noise, grime, and congestion of older industrial neighborhoods.

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